Choir concert at Mason United Methodist Church

Mason First United Methodist Church making waves in community

The Mason First United Methodist Church 201 E. Ash St. is very active in the local community. The church donates to Living Water International, holds a clothing bank every other Tuesday, has a women’s program, gives out scholarships, has a daycare for children and puts on choir concerts weekly.

Screen Shot 2017-03-23 at 11.08.48 AM

Disabled workers finding more employment opportunities

Finding a job can be tough on anyone but having a disability can make it even tougher. Even after the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed in 1990 the employment rate for people with disabilities stayed around 22 percent, according to Research on Employment Policy for Persons with Disabilities from Cornell University. More than 20 years later that rate has increased to 35.2 percent. Michigan employs 31.1 percent of its disabled population, a number that has been increasing since 2010. Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS) has 35 offices throughout Michigan that help people with a variety of disabilities.

A truck containing meals to be delivered to senior citizens pulls away from the Tri-County Office on Aging in Lansing.

Meals on Wheels offers more than just a plate

Casey Copp loads boxes of pre-made meals into the back of a truck outside Lansing’s Tri-County Office on Aging. It’s a weekly thing for him, as he says he enjoys giving back to his community. “I’ve been doing this for a couple of years now,” Copp said. “It’s nice to know that you’re helping to put a smile on someone’s face and some food in their stomach.”

The only problem is, who knows how long Copp will be able to keep doing this. President Donald Trump’s recent budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal year includes increased investments in defense programs. However, these investments will be paid for through cuts to community service programs, such as Meals on Wheels.

Sparrow Hospital located at 1215 E Michigan Ave, Lansing, Mich. on March 21. Photo by Taylor Skelton

Task forces in Lansing work to better local health care for children

Whether it be getting to the location of the appointment or locating a specialist, Lansing is no exception to the problem of health care access for children. Pam Riley Miklavcic knows. Her oldest son was diagnosed with cancer at the age of three. “While we were taking him and we had accesses to all the resources we needed to care for him,” Miklavcic said. “It was so evident, that seeing too many other families, that medical care can be great but if you do not have the support and ability  to access that care you are not going to thrive.

On Feb. 20 2017, a small group begins to gather outside of City Rescue Mission of Lansing. 
Photo by Taylor Skelton

Where do the homeless go in Holt and Delhi Township?

Sarah Keller became homeless after three months of living in Holt. According to Keller, she moved her family there from Grand Rapids because she received a job offer that she could not pass up. After working at the job for two months, they let her go because they were making cuts. “I was devastated. I was not in a contract so they could fire me whenever they wanted but I figured since they came looking for me and offered me the job I had some job security,” Keller said. Keller and her family had to move to The City Rescue Mission of Lansing for a few weeks until she was able to find another job.

Despite its headquarters residing in East Lansing, the Greater Lansing Jewish Welfare Federation supports Jewish community members from several surrounding cities.

Increase in threats and vandalism frightens some within Greater Lansing’s Jewish community

For many, Jewish Community Centers and similar organizations represent a place where people from all walks of life can go to feel safe and welcomed, no matter what color, gender or creed. For some, however, those places don’t feel quite as safe anymore. Over the past couple of months, there have been over 100 bomb threats made against JCCs and organizations across the United States. Although there have been no actual incidences of bombings stemming from these threats, there has been widespread vandalism against these centers. In addition to the bomb threats, there have been several incidences of headstones in Jewish cemeteries being toppled over and destroyed.

Photo By:Denise Patterson

Holt Community Food Bank serving the community’s neediest residents

Holt Community Food Bank, located on the grounds of Holt First Presbyterian Church, is the only food bank in Holt and Delhi Township. It was started 20 years ago by two members of the congregation after discovering that there were members in the church who were having difficulties making ends meet. What is so unique about Holt Community Food Bank is that it is exclusively run by volunteers in and outside of the community who are dedicated to serving by donating groceries and helping to prepare bags of food for those who are in need. According to Bonnie Mahieu, the food bank’s coordinator, all donations and food contributions come from people in the community, local businesses, churches, and local grocery stores like Kroger and Meijer. Mahieu also explained that HCFB is only dedicated to serving Holt residents.